Planning a trip to Tunisia and not quite sure what to pack?
Seeing as Tunisia is a predominantly Muslim country, we weren’t sure what type of clothes to bring. As a group of girls, we didn’t want to show any disrespect or draw too much attention to ourselves. So we packed a number of clothes that could cover us mixed with summer clothes just in case. We discovered that in the resort hotels, you can pretty much dress as you like. People even sunbathe naked. But I suggest to consider in dressing more modestly when out and about outside the hotel. Apparently, it is not considered rude for a man to stare at a woman’s body which should indicate that modesty will attract less attention. So if you’re a female traveller, avoid wandering around on your own if you don’t want to be pestered. The pestering usually amounts to nothing more than bizarre words and the occasional touch but it can be extremely persistent and annoying. A lot of the time, my girlfriends and I actually wore shorts and vest tops when out, but this was during a guided tour which only left us in places for a very short time with tour guides and other tourists around so we were fine. But if you are making a trip out of the hotel without a big group, I would suggest to dress more modest to avoid the unflattering attention. In particular, avoid wearing low cut tops or extremely short skirts or shorts when out of the resort, it would definitely prevent eyes staring at you.
The more south you travel, the more conservative Tunisia becomes. Even though most women wear western clothes in the Capital (which has a mix of Mediterranean, European and Arabic cultures), the south of Tunisia is practically devoid of any lingering European influence and is thus far more traditional. When I was further south, I was just standing “outside” a mosque and a muslim lady in a complete hijab frowned at me and I believe she tried to tell me (in Arabic) I should cover my shoulders and arms. So make sure you carry a cardigan or pashmina to cover your shoulders when appropriate.
Peak months are July and August. So if you’re travelling during another time, it can be a bit chilly particularly at night so make sure you bring a couple of cardigans and jeans.
Here are some outfits I put together as examples when leaving the resort…